More than $14 billion will be spent in 2015 to remove metals, VOCs and other contaminants from groundwater. This is the conclusion reached in Site Remediation World Markets published by the McIlvaine Company.
VOCs are present at more than two-thirds of the Superfund, RCRA and DOD sites and at almost half of the DOE sites. VOCs (in the form of BTEX) also are the primary contaminants at underground storage tank (UST) sites. Of the twelve contaminants most frequently found at Superfund and DOD sites, more than half are metals, primarily arsenic, chromium, lead, zinc, nickel and cadmium.
The U.S. is the world leader and over the next few years will represent the largest market for groundwater remediation.
The remediation of groundwater at the Japanese Fukushima site will be ongoing and will represent 5 percent of the total groundwater remediation market.
Here are some examples of other activities around the world:
The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) of Australia has ordered the chemical company Orica Australia Pty Ltd to clean up arsenic-contaminated groundwater at its Kooragang Island manufacturing plant near Newcastle in New South Wales (NSW). The pollution was caused by an outdated industrial process to produce ammonia.
China recognizes the extent of its problems and is accelerating remediation efforts. Results of the 2013 water quality report issued by the Chinese Ministry of Land and Resources show a slightly downward trend compared to the previous year. In 2012, 57.4 percent of the areas being monitored for water pollution were rated as “relatively poor” or “very poor.” In 2013, nearly 60 percent of the areas were found to have “relatively poor” or “very poor” groundwater quality. In addition, the ministry monitored water quality at 4,778 points in 203 cities. Of those, 43.9 percent were rated “relatively poor” and 15.7 percent were rated “very poor.”
The Nova Scotia Supreme Court has ruled that IMP Group International, Inc. of Halifax, Nova Scotia is responsible for cleanup of groundwater contaminated with perchloroethylene (PCE) at its IMP Aerospace site in Halifax and twelve properties nearby.